You've written a long book. Lots of characters
, many Plot Threads
, and deep, complex Character Development
. Your publisher likes it, but unfortunately, you're not a very well-known writer, and readers aren't likely to pick up such a vast novel.
The solution? Split the book into multiple volumes. The public will be less intimidated by the shorter length of the individual volumes, and thus more likely to buy them. In addition, it's possible to price the books so that buying all the volumes costs more than a single-volume edition would cost, which means more money. This may also happen if the book is being translated into another language.
If the book proves successful, it will probably be later released in a single-volume edition.
Note that this isn't for series of books which tell a single story; it's only for stories which were submitted as single books, which were then split into more than one at the publisher's request.
- The Lord of the Rings was famously split into three volumes for publication, and in fact to this day is commonly (and erroneously) referred to as a trilogy.
- Similarly, the Illuminatus!! trilogy was originally pitched as one book, but split into three to have some hope of actually being read.
- Succession was split into two volumes, The Risen Empire and Killing of Worlds. Confusingly, the book was published as a single volume in the UK, under the title The Risen Empire.
- The UK edition of A Storm Of Swords was split into two volumes, Steel and Snow and Blood and Gold. The French edition was even worse, splitting it into no less than four volumes - and, in fact, the French translations of all the A Song of Ice and Fire books are split into at least two volumes. Several other translations also split the books in various ways.
- The first two Wheel of Time books were split in half as part of a 'young adult special edition'. This doesn't seem to have done too well, as none of the other books were split.
- The Night's Dawn trilogy was split into six books for the American release.
- Clive Barker's Imajica was split into two volumes.
- Tale of Genji, due to its sheer length, is frequently divided into two volumes.
- The Finnish translation of the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy was split into no less than twelve volumes.